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Creepy Shadowed Undereyes

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One way to make a character look creepy is to have deep, dark circles surrounding their eyes in the form of shadows or natural pigmentation, giving them a sinister, skull-like appearance. Often goes hand in hand with Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette and Evil Old Folks, combined with Evil Eyebrows.

A character that Looks Like Cesare tends to have these eyes, as well as The Insomniac, Creepy Loner Girl, and other deranged characters, since eye pigmentation can occur from lack of sleep (though if this is just temporary see Exhausted Eye Bags). Some characters may artificially try to replicate this effect with make-up, resulting in Excessive Evil Eyeshadow, or Guyliner, but it just doesn't have the same effect and is not the trope. (Though an artist or makeup person who overdoes the effect may make the character look a bit like they’ve been hitting the eyeshadow.)


Compare Face Framed in Shadow. When the whole eyes are in shadow, to the point that you can't make them out at all, it's Hidden Eyes. This effect may be induced or go hand in hand with a Kubrick Stare.


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    Anime And Manga 
  • Dr. Hiyari and daughter Hiyariko from Anpanman. They're both mad scientists. Thanks to the simple artwork of the series, their eyes express this by being a dark ring around their eyes (black for Dr. Hiyari, dark purple for Hiyariko).
  • Lovro from Assassination Classroom.
  • Somewhat downplayed compared to some examples, but Fyodor Dostoyevsky from Bungou Stray Dogs has distinct undereye shadows.
  • L from Death Note, an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette, has circles around his eyes so dark, he has the fan nickname "Panda".
    • Light in the manga is shown to have dark circles around his eyes as well after he became Kira that magically disappear with his Memory Gambit.
  • Prandine/Fallow from Deltora Quest has these, though they extend out into bags underneath his eyes as well.
  • Detective Conan:
    • Shuichi Akai, FBI agent and good guy is drawn having eyes which have permanent bags underneath them that make him appear sleep deprived and other characters describe him as evil-eyed. It even becomes a Plot Point: Both Conan and the readers use his distinctive look to identify him when in disguise - and also relatives of his, such as his sister Masumi Sera, who has the same eyes, and Mary, the mysterious girl hiding in Sera's hotel room.
    • While jokes are made at her being a night owl, such as calling her an "evil-eyed yawning girl", Ai Haibara doesn't normally possess them. However, an arc that features a minor event of Haibara and Ayumi getting makeup put on them ends with Haibara looking like she has bags under her eyes while she's cleaning it off. Conan sees this and immediately notices a striking resemblance between Haibara and Mary.
  • The first sign that Taro has been possessed by a demon in Devil Man Crybaby is that he gains these kind of eyes.
  • Miranda from D.Gray-Man, though heroic, has these to reflect her gloominess and lack of sleep. They also add to her Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette appearance.
  • Flare Corona, previously a member of Raven Tail, has these, from Fairy Tail.
    • As does Acnologia in his human form.
  • Almost every character in Houkago Play has this — partly because many of them are hardcore gamers, and partly because of the art style.
  • Madame Hecuba and her son Tulip the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk (1974).
  • Several monsters and villains in Kirby: Right Back at Ya! seem to have these, such as Octacon, Blocky, Yamikage, the Broom King, Kung Fu Lee, Belly Buster in its true form, Giant Squishy, Trash Basher, Nekketsu, Fang, Chuckie (only when using his demon face), Phan Phan while brainwashed by Whippy, and Devil Kirby & Devil King Dedede.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Hitoshi Shinso in has these, and combined with his Mind Control powers, they make him look like someone who would end up a villain. Nevertheless, he really wants to be a hero.
    • An actual villain character named Dabi actually has those in the form of seemingly having burnt or no skin at all below his eyes.
    • Gentle and La Brava both have thick black lines around their eyes. They're only natural in La Brava's case, the result of countless nights since a middle school love rejection spent in front of a computer in deep depression. When she made the decision to approach Gentle, she wasn't able to do anything about them and hoped he wouldn't be put off. On the contrary, he accepted her gladly and, upon noticing how much she stressed over them regardless, took up drawing dark rings under his own eyes to emphasize their parntership. In the present the rings look almost like domino masks when coupled with their costumes.
  • Naruto:
    • Itachi Uchiha manages this in his more serious ass-kicking moments.
    • In the original Japanese, Gaara's darkly circled eyes are expressly stated to be Tanuki-like marks he was born with, signifying the animal the Tailed Beast sealed within him resembles, much like the way Naruto has whisker-marks resembling those of a fox (whose own Tailed Beast is based on the Kitsune). In the English dub, they were explained to be caused by his insomnia, which not only makes sense (rather than just assuming the audience wouldn't know what a Tanuki was or just calling it a "raccoon demon") but significantly ups the creep-factor.
  • Tomoko Kuroki from No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! has these. While she's not exactly a bad person, it does reduce her physical appeal and reduces her self-esteem. Strangely enough, it seems to be genetic since her brother and (to a lesser extent) her mother have eye bags as well. The mother's are less pronounced, though, suggesting the siblings (or at least Tomoko) made theirs worse through poor sleeping habits.
  • Trafalgar Law, the "Surgeon of Death" from One Piece.
  • In Anime/Pokemon, Ash is possessed by an ancient king in an orb, complete with magic eyeliner.
  • Hikaru Gosunkugi from Ranma ½.
  • School Zone: High school girl Fuji was either born with tremendous bags under her eyes, or she developed one hell of a psycho stare after spending every waking moment at the arcade trying to win a stuffed animal from a crane game.
  • Colin from Two Keys who is an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette with huge dark circles around his eyes, which sometimes double as Hidden Eyes, reflecting both his dark past and mysteriousness.
  • Many of the antagonists from Yu-Gi-Oh!, including Yami Marik, Yami Bakura, and Bonz.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Johan gets these when he is possessed by Yubel.


    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live Action TV 

  • This seems to be a trademark of Vocaloid P Vs animated by Sidu. She is known for her dark illustrations, and as such several of the characters she draws have these shadows under their eyes.
  • Speaking of which, Shintaro from Kagerou Daze sports these. They are likely due to a lack of sleep caused by his survivor's guilt. Whatever the reason, they definitely help to characterize Shintaro as a somewhat mentally unstable socially awkward recluse. The Kagerou Daze series of videos was also illustrated by Sidu.

    Video Games 
  • All human characters in Don't Starve have them, but the most prominent belong to Wilson, Wendy, and Maxwell
  • Loghain in Dragon Age: Origins has extremely dark circles under his eyes. Though his high stress life makes it totally reasonable for him to have them, the cartoonish appearance of his dark circles has been the subject of much mockery, and even lead many players to correctly predict his treachery and resultant villain status. Some of them were apparently so irritated by the raccoon rings around his eyes that they created mods to tone them down.
  • Cole from Dragon Age: Inquisition has these, along with pale skin and Creepy Blue Eyes. They give him an eerie, unworldly appearance, and help indicate his nature as a spirit taken human form. Unlike other examples, however, he is not evil, and is actually one of the most moral characters to join the Inquisition.
  • Knight of the Seal Hanch in Drakengard 2 has these, as a result of the magical pact that cost her her beauty and attractiveness in general.

  • Dimitri from Fire Emblem: Three Houses has these after the timeskip while he's fixated on killing Edelgard to avenge his deceased family and friends. They go away when his mental health improves.
  • Colonel Radec removes his goggles at one point in Killzone 2, showing that he is quite pale and unhealthy looking with pronounced bags and redness under his eyes.
  • Members of the Parasite Unit in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain have faded inkblot-like markings around their eyes, caused by the parasites living under their skin. This, combined with their paleness and erratic movements, reinforces their "undead" appearance.
  • Looking closely in Metroid Prime, you can see that Ridley has these combined with Fireball Eyeballs.
  • Mr. Sandman in Punch-Out!! gains these in his Title Defense match in the Wii version. Dude must've lost a lot of sleep losing to Little Mac.
  • The Thwomps from the Super Mario Bros. series games. The Boos have them in Luigi's Mansion, and in the sequel they're used to help distinguish King Boo from his servants.
  • The Medic in Team Fortress 2 has these. They're fairly subtle, but compared to the other characters it's a reasonably noticeable feature. It's probably to make his eyes stand out behind his glasses, show that he's no spring chicken, and suggest that he's the kind of person who likely stays up late doing horrible medical experiments. And maybe the stress of his thankless job is getting to him.

    Visual Novels 

  • Comic Book SNAFU gives Baron Zemo these to highlight his obsession with winning at any cost.
  • Persephone from Destroyer of Light has those. It's a subtle hint that she's a bit darker than her mother, Demeter.
  • Dongtae from DICE: The Cube That Changes Everything had noticeable permanent bags under his eyes that he thinks could beat a panda. They don't help his already poor self esteem.
  • Azuu of Elijah And Azuu has visible bags under his eyes constantly, but he doesn't have it nearly as bad as his son, who has very obvious Creepy Shadowed Undereyes (and both also have a case of Red Eyes, Take Warning to boot).
  • Girl Genius: After the Time Skip Gil remains awake for weeks while in The Madness Place with his self control slipping and gets dark circles around his eyes as a result. Fittingly these bruise like dark circles become even more pronounced when he's not the one in the driver's seat.
  • The Guide to a Healthy Relationship: Julian, because they're permanently stressed out by their hallucinations and The Insomniac.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court has Jack while he was going crazy from the influence of a spider-like entity from Zimmy's Mental World. Averted by Winsbury, who's a jerkass initially, but otherwise completely normal. Zimmy (whose eyes are completely covered in black gunk) has these even when her eyes are washed out. Gamma has them as well, presumably because she hardly ever sleeps.
  • In Homestuck, all of the Trolls have these, but it's especially noticeable on insomniac Karkat, Nepeta, whose quality of sleep is presumably lessened because she doesn't have a proper "bed", Vriska and Eridan, for whom it's largely inexplicable, and Sollux, on the rare occasion he's pictured without his glasses. Equius seems to have this too, but since his are the same colour as his blood it's likely that they're petechiae, possibly incurred in fights with his robots, although autoerotic asphyxiation is a potential cause as well.
  • Lovely Lovecraft: Howard has dark circles around his eyes, although their level of noticeably shifts (sometimes darker, sometimes lighter).
  • Jonas, now and again, in The Phoenix Requiem. He's normally something of a Pretty Boy, but the physical stress of dispelling shades and contact with the spirits wrecks his health and it really shows. They're there again in the ending when he becomes a Psychopomp, since he can't get regular meals and sometimes drugs himself to ease the passage of souls.
  • Shazam in Something*Positive, after his face is finally revealed.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Väinö, the elderly solitary guardian mage of a Forbidden Zone border whose only regular companions are his seagull helpers, has eyes that are beady and have pronounced outlines compared to the rest of the cast.
  • Exaggerated with Star Impact's Etna, for the entirety of the area around her eyes is wreathed in shadow.
  • Zalvetta the ninja of Thrilling Intent has these. He is also a sociopathic killer.
  • Deadpan Snarker Colin from Two Keys has this, as seen in the picture above.
    • Which is actually a milder version. Sometimes he has this to the point where it looks like he's got the Black Eyes of Evil. It's unclear whether he has this due to insomnia, If his magic has a physically draining effect on him or if it has something to do with his Mysterious Past. Not to be confused with when he has his occasional moments of Black Eyes of Crazy.

    Web Original 
  • Jay from Marble Hornets.
    • Tim also exhibits this in Entry #64. Apparently, it's a symptom of close encounters with Slendy.
  • Fluttershy in the PONY.MOV series.
  • In Half-Life But The AI Is Self-Aware, the main antagonist Benrey is depicted in the thumbnail art and in fan works with dark shadows under his eyes to distinguish him from other security guards.

    Western Animation 

  • Svengoolie. The actor uses makeup, but the it's the characters natural look.

    Real Life 
  • In Real Life the skin around the eyes is much thinner, so some people do have darker areas around their eyes (it's also the reason bruises around the eye are so prominent). Of course, this has nothing to do with a person's morality.


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